There’s great excitement in our house today as every space available is covered with some kind of creepy crawlie in preparation for Halloween. The kids have been planning their costumes for weeks now and child #1 is counting down the minutes until it gets dark so she can head out trick or treating with her friends. Child #2 is still a bit iffy about the masks etc so he will stay home and wait for the local kids to come knocking at the door.
In the meantime, it’s another dull and dreary Autumn day so I’ve been baking up a storm in the kitchen. Halloween Tea bracks have been the order of the day from Himself which is a yeast-free version of Barmbrack. Barmbrack is a type of yeasted bread with added raisins and sultanas and is traditionally eaten in Ireland at Halloween and would contain different “charms” as a kind of fortune telling game. Whatever charm a person received in their slice of brack would determine their fortune for the following year:
Pea/Thimble – would not marry that year
Stick – an unhappy marriage or be involved in many disputes
Coin – would enjoy good fortune
Ring – would marry within the year
Piece of Cloth – would have bad luck or be poor
I used an Odlums recipe this year which calls for a packet of mixed fruit, I just used half raisins, half sultanas as I had them left over from my Christmas cakes (yep, I did my Christmas baking BEFORE my Halloween baking!) I have since used 150g each of raisins & sultanas with 75g glace cherries, it’s really up to yourself what you use.
Halloween Tea Brack
From a recipe on www.odlums.ie
375g mixed fruit (I used half raisins, half sultanas)
300ml warm, strong tea
225g self raising flour
125g caster sugar
1/2 tsp mixed spice
1 beaten egg
1 tsp golden syrup
Place the mixed fruit into a large mixing bowl, pour over the warm tea and leave to soak overnight.
Line a 2lb loaf tin and pre heat oven to 170c
Add the flour, sugar, mixed spice and egg and mix well to make sure all the ingredients are incorporated*
Transfer to a loaf tin and bake for approx 1 hour (brack should be risen and firm to the touch)
Cool on a wire rack, when completely cool, wrap in greaseproof paper and *try* to keep for 2 days before cutting 🙂
Warm 1 teaspoon golden syrup in the mircowave for approx 30 seconds and drizzle over the top before slicing.
*If you are putting charms into the brack, wrap in greaseproof paper and add into the mixture at this point.